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's nixon with the flop sweat. george h.w. bush looking at his watch. appearances count, don't they? >> they really do. and a professional knows that. george h.w. bush in that debate, that third one in richmond in 1992, he was looking at his watch because he was trying to make the point that one of the other candidates had run over time. it didn't really compute this was sending the message that he was impatient, just the kind of message he didn't want to send. >> humor can be an effective tool, diffuse a weakness. >> i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. >> and at that moment, a lot of people said well, there's the ball game. including his opponent. >> including walter mondale. >> what do you think about humor as a tool in this debate tonight? >> you'd better be a very accomplished actor like reagan or else it probably won't work. in that case, reagan said certain things that might have given rise to further worry he was too old to serve a second term. got things wrong. ran over in his f
that he gave while richard nixon continuously lost ground thereafter. the story goes that it was kennedy's tan, his youthful look that won him the first televised debate. do you think that's the full story? >> i think that's part of an lore. i think much more was this. before that first debate john kennedy was thought of as a young, not very distinguished absentee senator, junior senator from massachusetts debating against the vice-president of the united states who had stood up to kruschev. this marvelous debater. kennedy was able to not only match nixon but exceed him. people began to think of him as a possible president. >> are debates necessary for the democratic process? have the best debaters proven to be then the best presidents? >> they have in one sense. and that is one of the most important things you want from a president is someone who if he has to make a tough decision can go to americans and say, this may be unpopular with you but let me try to explain it, explain why it's the right thing to do. if a president doesn't have that he's not going to serve very well and the deba
the first kennedy/nixon debate where kennedy defied the expectations that he was a rich light weight playboy and won the debate as much as nixon lost it. in 1980 reagan defies expectations because people -- there was a character that the carter campaign created of him of a nuclear cowboy. it is none of those things. >> carter also was asking about nuclear war. >> what romney has to do is forget the nonsense about it being about himself. if you are a 65-year-old man you are not comfortable in your own skin you never will be. he has to talk to the american people. he has to have a conversation with the american people and get them to see him as a president. >> has he? >> no he has not. >> why not? >> his convention speech he has run a personality campaign and nobody is going to out personality barack obama. >> for romney to just breakthrough what looks like an increasing race in which he has fewer chances to change the dynamics. obama has to just not make it and he wins. this is a tough situation for a challenger particularly on the first debate. the pressure is on domestic policy. and so this
Search Results 0 to 2 of about 3